President Barack Obama and L. D. Britt, MD, MPH, DSc(Hon), FACS, FCCM, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FWACS(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCS(SA)(Hon), FRCSGlasg(Hon), Past-President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), were awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees at Howard University’s 2016 graduation ceremony May 7 in Washington, DC. President Obama also delivered the commencement address to approximately 2,300 graduates and more than 25,000 family members.
Dr. Britt is a widely respected general and critical care surgeon and philanthropist. He is the Henry Ford Professor and Edward J. Brickhouse Chairman, department of surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), Norfolk, and is the first African American in the U.S. to have an endowed chair in surgery. Recognized as an outstanding educator and role model, Dr. Britt has been the recipient of many national and institutional awards for his excellence in teaching, including the EVMS Dean’s Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award and the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Robert J. Glasser Distinguished Teaching Award.
A Fellow of the ACS since 1989, Dr. Britt is Past-Chair of the ACS Board of Regents (2008–2009). He has served on a number of key College committees and at present chairs the ACS Committee on Health Care Disparities.
In his keynote speech, President Obama credited two Howard University legal icons, Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston, for their leadership in overturning Jim Crow segregation laws. “The seeds of change for all America were sown here,” President Obama said.
President Obama, Former U.S. Ambassador to Botswana Horace Greeley Dawson, Jr., and Emmy Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson also received honorary degrees. Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, MD, FACS, led the ceremony. View a press release on the commencement ceremony.